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As a teacher with 28 years of experience, Mary Ruth McGinn has always sought innovative ways to meet the needs of each of her students. She has spent her entire career in schools where a majority of students speak English as a second language and where poverty significantly impacts the... Read more

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My Anger Dragon (VIDEO)

In talking with my students about living a great story, I simply asked, “What parts of our story can we control and what parts of our story are beyond our control?” Several shared that anger sometimes gets the best of them and they are not able to control it. For this reason, every day after recess and lunch, we find the space to stop, be still, breathe and release.

One day, during this period, a dear friend and former opera parent, Lissa James, came to class to lead us in a guided imagery session intended to help us recognize and confront our anger. Through story and vivid images, company members became conscious of their anger dragons.

Now, the goal is to determine ways to control this unpredictable beast that appears time and time again, catches us off guard, wreaks havoc in our lives and often leaves us feeling defenseless and defeated.

Where does my anger dragon live? What is his motivation? How will I control him? These are questions we all might ask ourselves.

Mary Ruth McGinn

About Mary Ruth McGinn

As a teacher with 28 years of experience, Mary Ruth McGinn has always sought innovative ways to meet the needs of each of her students. She has spent her entire career in schools where a majority of students speak English as a second language and where poverty significantly impacts the learning experiences and opportunities of students and their families. Fifteen years ago she had an experience that changed her life and altered her professional path in a profound way. She attended training sessions at The Metropolitan Opera Guild in New York City, spent nine intense days living the process of creating an original opera and learned how to replicate the experience with her students. She then began creating opera with her students and using the process of creating the opera as a vehicle through which to teach curriculum and life skills. The authentic purpose for learning coupled with the arts provided the perfect stage on which to construct a love for life-long learning. She currently teaches at Stedwick Elementary School in Montgomery Village, Maryland where she is creating another original opera with her third grade students. Read more of Mary Ruth's blog Learning for Real.

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